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THE THIRD RAIL OF MIDDLE EAST POLICY
by Ruth King
In any discussion of alternatives to the failed policies that require Israeli withdrawal to the pre 1967 boundaries, there is a third rail: the mention of transfer of the Arab population. Those who blandly advocate the transfer of about 300,000 Jewish citizens of Gaza, Golan and Judea and Samaria will not even discuss relocation of Arabs. They are sanguine about the "ethnic cleansing" of all those areas, but just mention even a peaceful population exchange when it comes to Arabs and they go into self-righteous orbit.
Even some of Israel's more hawkish advocates recoil from a discussion of transfer. Daniel Pipes, an eloquent critic of the "road maps" and the Oslo debacle, dismisses the forced removal of terrorists and their families as well as the more peaceful relocation of those Arabs who cannot accept Israeli sovereignty as "impractical."
Instead of examining genuine alternatives, all parties return to the same 1969 Rogers plan which proposed Israel's withdrawal to the 1949 borders in exchange for peace. Now, after 30 years of repeating this formula, it is time to face up to the fact that it will not work. No amount of concessions by Israel will bring peace between Israel and the Arab states.
Moslem law explicitly forbids a treaty with an infidel state. While a truce is permitted it is only binding for ten years. The Camp David treaty with Egypt did not even last that long. Within two years the Egyptians had violated every relevant paragraph: there was no trade, no Egyptian tourism to Israel, above all, no cessation of incitement to violence and hatred.
The Palestinian Arabs signed the Oslo Accords (note it was never a treaty) and embarked on the worst terrorist rampage in Israel's history. The more Israel conceded, the more suicide bombers were activated. It certainly is time to entertain other alternatives.
Here is mine: all parties must return to the 1922 boundaries of Jewish and Arab Palestine. When, in that year, 80% of Palestine was given to the Arabs to create Trans-Jordan (now Jordan), the Jewish homeland under the British Mandate retained the area west of the Jordan. (In the 1920s and 30s, massacres by Arabs who would accept no Jewish presence in their midst caused Jews to flee Judea and Samaria. In 1967, these areas were liberated and restored to Jewish sovereignty.)
The Arab refugee camps must be razed and UNRWA kicked out, removing these obstacles to peace. In their place will be upgraded housing, schools and administrative bodies for the local Arabs. Terrorists and their families will be systematically deported. Those Arabs who have Israeli citizenship will be warned that any terrorism or sedition against the state will be met with deportation and/or some heavy duty jail time. That should keep Allegra Pacheco busy.
Israel's Jews will drop their claims to return to those cozy corners of the Diaspora in Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and all Arabs will drop their claim to return to Jewish Palestine.
Finally, the question of transfer must be on the table for discussion. Just as Czechoslovakia transferred millions of ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland after World War II, Israel must consider the expulsion of those Arabs who cannot live in peace with their Jewish neighbors. Just as India and Pakistan agreed to a peaceful exchange of populations, so Israel must have the right to consider such an alternative in respect to Arab countries which expelled over 800,000 Jews in the aftermath of 1948.
If Israel is unable to insist on its own terms for negotiations, it will, however reluctantly, fulfill the Arab dream, namely, the forced and violent transfer of all Jews from the Middle East.
Ruth King is a member of the Executive Committee of Americans For a
Safe Israel (AFSI).
This article originally appeared in the Americans For A Safe
Israel publication "Outpost," April, 2003.
This article originally appeared in the Americans For A Safe Israel publication "Outpost," April, 2003.
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